ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In 2018, police across New York State issued 4,000 tickets to alcohol and drug impaired drivers in just two weeks around the holiday season. This year, they’d be happy if they wrote none.
“We do not want to arrest people for DWI. We don’t want to do that at all, and what we don’t want to do worse than that, is have to knock on somebody’s door,” says New York State Police Col. Bob Nuzzo.
“Can you imagine a police officer coming to your door in the middle of the night telling you that your loved one has been killed in a impaired driving crash? Somebody selfishly decided to drive after taking substances that impaired them and killed your loved one. For the rest of your life, the holiday season is the worst time of your life,” says Chuck Deweese the assistant commissioner for the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
“If we wrote zero tickets and had zero impaired driving accidents, that would be the most successful campaign we’ve ever had,” he goes on to explain to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
All 500-plus police agencies across New York State will step up patrols and set up sobriety checkpoints starting Tuesday. To avoid losing your job, your money, or your life to a DWI accident, law enforcement encourages you start making your plans now.
They suggest downloading the Stop DWI “Make a Plan” app. It connects you to ride hailing services, helps you make a list of designated drivers, report a suspicious driver if you see one, or even play games to test if you’re as sober as you think you are.
Officers say they hope after decades spreading the don’t drive impaired message, it will finally sink in.
“We’ve been spreading this message for 40 years. I’ve been in law enforcement for 36 years, and I hear the same question every year, wouldn’t you think that people would get the message and wouldn’t drink and drive?” says Guilderland Police Department Deputy Chief Curtis Cox.
“It’s 2019, We have so many different ways to get home without driving impaired,” Deweese adds.